Ken Burns’ eight-part documentary series “Country Music,” which has been airing recently on PBS stations, is driving a spike in sales for a number of country artists. Variety calls it a “stampede back to classic country” and notes that “decades-old albums by artists featured on the PBS show are taking over the Amazon and iTunes charts.”
“As of Thursday morning, on Amazon’s physical media chart, classic country artists who’ve been given the spotlight on ‘Country Music’ command eight of the top 20 spots among all-genre sales and 35 of the general top 100,” Variety reports. “On iTunes’ all-genre album download chart, which is naturally going to skew a bit younger, albums by artists featured on Burns’ ‘Country Music’ account for 14 out of the top 80 spots.”
The report adds: “If you’re looking strictly at the country charts, of course, the numbers are even more impressive. On Amazon’s country album sales chart, every single album in the top 20 has a connection with Burns’ show. On iTunes’ country albums download chart, 60 of the top 100 are by artists associated with the series.”
The report notes that artists who have received a bump in sales include Jimmie Rodgers, who was featured in the first episode, along with artists featured later in the series such as Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams and Dwight Yoakam, all of whom have had spikes in “best of” albums, among others.
“But landmark studio albums that Burns featured on the show are doing well, too,” Variety adds. “At Amazon, the No. 2 album on the all-genre chart at the moment is the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s 1972 ‘Will the Circle Be Unbroken,’ which became a focus on the series because of how the group brought in Roy Acuff and other classic country artists who stood in danger of being forgotten at the time it was recorded.”